Walgreens announced that it will be raising the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 starting in September. The decision comes after the Food and Drug Administration put the national pharmacy chain "on notice" after an investigation found that they were selling cigarettes to minors. According to NBC News, the FDA discovered that 22% of the stores across the country had sold tobacco products to customers who were under the age of 18.
“We’ve seen positive results from other recent efforts to strengthen our policies related to tobacco sales, and believe this next step can be even more impactful to reduce its use among teens and young adults,” Richard Ashworth, Walgreens President of Operations, said in a statement.
While Walgreens is voluntarily raising the age to buy tobacco products, Congress is working on a bill that would raise the age from 18 to 21 across the entire country. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he plans to introduce the legislation in the Senate sometime next month.
"I hope my legislation will earn strong, bipartisan support in the Senate," McConnell said. "I’m confident many of my colleagues will agree that protecting our young people from starting tobacco use at an early age can have remarkable, long-term health benefits for Kentucky and the country.”
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